Is "Self Love" a Bad Word?

I’m a huge fan of Christine Arylo and her work around self love. I can’t tell you how big a difference she’s made in my life. When I first found her, one of the things she was talking about was loving oneself and how it’s perceived as a bad, selfish thing. It’s actually defined at Dictionary.com as:

self-love[selfluhv]

noun

1. the instinct by which one’s actions are directed to the promotion of one’s own welfare or well-being, especially an excessive regard for one’s own advantage.
2. conceit; vanity.
3. narcissism ( def. 2 ) .

It sure doesn’t sound like an honorable thing, does it? It sure didn’t sound like something I wanted to strive for. But then Christine asked this question: Would you tell your daughter, your sister, or your mother to not love herself?

Puts it in a little different perspective, doesn’t it?

It’s been a year or more since I discovered Christine. I can tell you right now, that I love and accept myself more now than I ever have. As a result, I feel happier and more at peace than I ever have. I keep my best interests at heart – and the thing that feels amazing to me is that the more I love myself, the greater my capacity for loving others is. Counter-intuitive, isn’t it?

The reality of it is, that the things you dislike in others, are the things you dislike about yourself. Think about it. I’ve done much research and put this concept to work in my own life. I can tell you, almost without fail (and the times it’s failed, I think I may have just been in denial – but don’t tell anyone). When I’ve really looked at the traits in others I dislike, when I turned that mirror back on myself, I could see parts of that trait in me. So, it really makes sense that learning to love me, helps me be more compassionate toward the populace at large.

And the things I see that don’t reflect back at me – or at least I don’t see it now – I don’t worry about. Maybe when I’m ready to deal with them, I’ll see that ugliness reflected at me, or maybe I won’t. It doesn’t matter. Let it go and move on. That’s not what I’m concerned with here. Even just looking at it to see if it might be something you resemble, serves to cause more compassion toward that behavior. That’s not what we’re here to talk about today though. If the shoe doesn’t fit, drop that shoe like a hot potato and move on! It’s the shoes you find that are maybe a bit too comfy when you try them on that we’re here to talk about today.

As a proponent of personal growth and raising your (and my) self-esteem and improving Self Image, what I am concerned with, are the things that do reflect back at me. How to handle it? Number one, forgive yourself. As humans, and especially as women, we are harder on ourselves than on any other people in our lives. We expect more from ourselves, berate ourselves, are discompassionate and just flat out mean to ourselves. We say things to ourselves that we would never dream of saying to our sisters, children, mother or best friends. And let’s face it, if we did say those things to other people in our lives, we probably wouldn’t have many friends hanging around.

So, yes. Number one is, forgive yourself. You can do this by acknowledging that you’re not perfect – and not being perfect is fine – perfection is not our goal. Sometimes it’s the imperfections that make something truly lovely. The next step is to accept that part of you you’re not in love with. Just accept it – say “ok. I see you, I acknowledge you and I accept you.” And…that’s pretty much it.

For me, I’ve currently accepted my Inner Romantic. I denied her for so long as mushy, gushy and just too much of a “girl” to really serve me. But she’s there. And I feel happy to have her along for the ride. I love her mushiness and the disgusting way she carries on about all things romantic. As a result, I feel more comfortable and at peace with myself in general.

It’s a bit like fear. Once you acknowledge a fear, it ceases to be as scary. On the same note, once you acknowledge this part of you that’s not perfect, it will cease to bother you as much. You’ll find compassion for those imperfect parts of you – and as a result you’ll begin to feel peace within and feel more comfortable in your own unique, lovely skin. And if the self-beration and discompassion toward it does pop up to haunt you again, just tell it you see it and accept it. I didn’t have to re-accept the “ugly parts” of me often at all, and I suspect you won’t either. Let me know how this works for you.

Oh, and hey! Check out Christine’s work if you liked this, or keep following me – I’m sure we’ll chat on this subject some more. By the way, I have decided to expand my rapport into life-coaching, so if you’re interested in some one-on-one coaching with me, check out my new website: here There’s a contact form for a free consultation there, or you can email me: here.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Anonymous
    Dec 04, 2011 @ 00:19:46

    This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

    Reply

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